Storm drain has neighbor worried for kids

Dear Johnnie: I live over on Sparrow Hawk Drive. Behind my house is a storm retention area. It’s nice, with grass, and kids love to play there.

However, the drain on it is missing a grate. This summer after a rainstorm, kids went out to play and a kid dropped a big Tonka truck in the water. It was quickly devoured by the drain. He decided he would try to go after it. In my horror, I started yelling at them from my porch.

This could have been a tragedy. How do I get the city to replace the grate over the drain before a tragedy occurs? Seems like a easy fix. Thanks — Concerned Resident

Dear Concerned Resident:I checked out the drain for myself and determined it to be about 18 inches in diameter. Also, there is nothing in the drain’s appearance that makes it

Drains in storm retention areas generally are the responsibility of homeowners associations. This one, at the edge of the Quail Crossing neighborhood, has an opening about 18 inches in diameter. (Johnnie St. Vrain/Times-Call)

appear as if it lost a grate.

So I checked with city water utilities supervisor Jim Engel. He told me that the drains on most of the retention areas in the city are the responsibility of the homeowners associations in those neighborhoods. Such is the case with yours. It’s owned by the Quail Crossing Residential Association. I looked it up and found its contact person, Kevin Lucas with Foster Management. He went to the retention area and confirmed that the drain is on HOA property.

“Homeowners with any questions, comments or concerns should contact the HOA management company at 303-532-4148 or attend a scheduled HOA board meeting to speak directly with the board,” he replied to Johnnie after seeing the drain for himself. All HOA board meetings are open to homeowners/residents of the community, he said.

Kevin said that in 2006, the HOA board initiated the installation of the trash racks on the stormwater culverts throughout the neighborhood, as the city had not required the developer to install them.

“All culverts larger than 18 inches were fitted with trash racks at that time,” he said.

Jim Engel confirmed that there is no rule requiring that grates be placed on drains above a certain size, although generally grates are placed on drains larger than 18 inches.

C.R., I trust that you can take it from here.

Dear Johnnie: My wife and I are like other couples in their senior years who over time have collected valuable items such as jewelry, gold , silver and platinum. Most have been in security boxes or buried under clothing in dresser drawers. Most are really dated and would not be worn today.

We have offered them to our daughter and granddaughter, and both refused because of their style. They advised us to sell them now that prices for gold are high. The problem we have is a basic distrust of taking them to those companies that advertise in the papers that they buy coins, jewelry, etc., for fear that they will shortchange us as to their value.

Do you have any recommendations on how to find legitimate and honest appraisers willing to be fair in their transactions with us old-timers? — D.A.

Dear D.A.: Imagine you were buying jewelry, gold, silver or platinum. What would you do?

You would shop around. Without implying that you would be shortchanged by one of the companies that comes into town for a weekend, I can let you know that there are local businesses that purchase gold and other valuables from people like you. So you have the opportunity to have your valuables appraised by someone locally. Through your own legwork, you can determine for yourself who would give you the best price.

Then, next time a company comes into town telling you they’ll give you top price for gold, you can find out by asking them what they would pay you for yours.

Granted, precious metals prices are always changing, so what Company A would give you one week might differ from what they would give you the next week. And that doesn’t take into account what Company B might do.

Also, you can check with the Better Business Bureau to see if a gold-buyer has been the subject of legitimate complaints.

D.A., I hope this helps. Of course, you do have one other option. You could hold on to the valuables. It’s your choice.

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